Improved Performance for OpenGL Viewport

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Sonk
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Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:02 pm

giannis wrote:
ThomasHelzle wrote: What really drives me crazy is the camera settings though ;-)
The endless combinations of current view, selected camera or unselected camera and mounted or not drive me up the walls every time. I'd prefer a highly simplified system that allows me to just set my values for the camera with no other options at all.
This is indeed under examination and we are in the process of simplification.

Best wishes

I'm so happy to hear this! Last time I used the demo version, the camera stuff was confusing me ,just like Thomas Helzle stated. Some sort of Maya style navigation(Alt + LMB,MMB,RMB)) would be nice
Last edited by Sonk on Mon Sep 17, 2012 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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john keates
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Sat Sep 15, 2012 4:55 pm

I have come to like the way it works in Maya too. If a camera is keyed, you can move it around but it will snap to the keyed state when you move the timeline. You can also lock values so they have no possibility of moving.

In addition, the ability to have more than one camera view is really handy. It is useful to be able to manipulate a camera from the third person but see changes from the cameras view.
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SandroS
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Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:28 am

ThomasHelzle wrote:I understand what Thea Studio is trying to do with it's system, allowing for failsafe navigation without loosing your render views, but I personally find, while it works in that regard, setting up camera options by that became much too complicated.
i agree that the current system is needlessly complicated, and am also glad that the team are looking to change the way it works, but i do very much appreciate the fact that cameras are locked by default.

when cameras are unlocked by default, i often set up my 'perfect' angle, only to find later that i accidentally changed it and have to start all over again :lolno:
ThomasHelzle wrote:in every other software I ever used you have "Cameras" and a "Perspective View" or "User View" or something like that. The Cameras are used for rendering so you only change them to create the views you want to render. With the perspective view you work and move around while creating your scene.
ThomasHelzle wrote:I can't count how often I set options for a camera just to find out that I used the wrong tab - the "current" vs. the " camera" tab, mounted vs. not. I hardly ever know which one is "active" and what it is influencing ATM.
again i agree completely, but Thea's way is not too different to what you are used to. it's just that the naming conventions are peculiar as are some of the required actions, and the 'Current View' is misleading in what it actually is and does.

whilst we wait for the update, it might help to know the following (this isn't directed at you Tom, just some general info that might help):

'Current View' is pretty much the equivalent of the 'Perspective' or 'User' view that you refer to. changing a setting in the Current View tab does not change a camera property, it merely changes the view in the OpenGL and IR viewport. if you find that you like a particular openGL/IR view that you have created, you can right click on any existing camera and choose the 'Go To - Current Position' option. that should transfer all the OpenGL view properties to the camera.

To have saved camera views in your scene and be able to change them, you need to insert a camera and 'Mount' it to make any changes stick. effectively, 'Mount' means 'temporarily unlock'. Mounting is not as straight forward as it should be, and i think this is what catches users out (i know it took me a while to figure it out).

you first need to have a camera in the scene. to do this go to the Action Toolbar and use the 'Insert Lights/Cameras/Infinite Plane' icon to insert a camera (you should see the new camera appear in the 'Cameras' list). next you need to make the camera active. to do this you can either middle click on it in the Tree View (the item list), or left click on it and then click on the 'Go to selected camera view' on the 'Viewer Toolbar'. with the camera correctly selected, you should see the name of the camera in the OpenGL view, just above the Viewer Toolbar (if you can't see this then the Camera is not yet active and you won't be able to Mount and make changes).

now you can Mount the camera (i.e. unlock it) by clicking on the Mount Camera icon on the Viewer Toolbar. when you do this, the dotted camera frame line will change colour (it should go red), indicating that the camera is now unlocked. now you can make any change to the camera. to change camera properties, you need to do this in the 'Selection Properties' tab, not the 'Current View' tab, as the latter is only used to change the openGL view, and has no effect on the actual cameras.

when you are done, don't forget to 'Unmount' the camera by either middle clicking on a different camera or clicking on the Mount Camera icon again. the dotted camera frame line will go white again and now the camera is locked.

i hope the above doesn't confuse things further :oops:
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Bob James
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Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:48 pm

Thanks, SamdroS. That is a great explanation. I had, through trial and error, figured it all out, but it helps to know that I have "all the pieces" correct.
I'm not sure that I want it changed :lol:

This is the kind of information that should be in the user's manual where it could be learned and not found out by trial-and-error or the largess of a guru :D
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ThomasHelzle
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Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:12 pm

SandroS: Thank you very much for the explanation. I guess I need to read through this again every time I use Thea.
While I know how it works in theory, it doesn't stick and feels counter-intuitive to me so I struggle again each time I open the software.

As a user of many different 3D applications for 20+ years, starting with stuff like DeLuxePaint, RayDreamStudio, Extreme3D and then going Pro with Cinema4D, Lightwave, XSI/Softimage, Blender, MoI, messiah:studio, Rhino, Silo, Sculptris, ZBrush modo etc. , I've seen a lot of different approaches to navigation. To this day, Lightwave has my favourite view navigation. But it is missing direct camera-navigation, so in that area I personally find XSI the most intuitive/workable.
It has separate work and render cameras and a dedicated undo for cameras/views so even if I accidentally change a render camera, I can undo it in most cases - I also can lock cameras to prevent any changes.

As I said, I completely understand what Thea is trying to do and even appreciate it. :thumbup:
When we are talking about in-View-Navigation the system works okay.
Where the system falls apart - IMO - is when I enter values numerically. While I may change a camera accidentally in view and be happy when Thea prevents that, when setting values and parameters numerically, I always want to change my current camera, not some detached current view and not a camera I'm not currently looking through.

But there is more to it - the overall view problems continue when it comes to switching between perspective and straight views:
When I switch to a top view, I get some kind of preset view position and have to navigate to what I want to work on or use the frame scene/frame object buttons. So far so good.
But if I go back to a certain render-camera view to check how my change looks in context and then go back to the top view, I'm back to the default view.
After ten times, I start to gnaw at my table. :crazy:
This combined with having to switch to a non-perspective view each time and the quad-view getting confused in which view you are working makes for a lot of pain or ATM makes me avoid using it altogether.

It is my personal opinion, that it would do Thea a lot of good to stick with "standards", since it is always a secondary tool, used together with a host. Most hosts use a system, where Top, Front and Side views are always parallel by default and either save the last used position for each of them or have the zoom and centre synchronized between the 3, but usually don't mix that with the perspective work view.

Why I mention all this is, because I actually enjoy working in Thea Studio a lot.
Since ATM I have no really working plugins for my hosts (there is no LightWave plugin, modo 601 doesn't work with the available version and XSI is mostly hit and miss) I use simple OBJ imports and it works very well for me, but it would be very nice to have the overall navigation and handling up to par with other 3D software - the renderer as such leaves not much to be desired for me and is my personal favourite.

Some relatively small adjustments to the workflow, maybe some presets for different navigation standards, finetuning or a special setting for tablet users, the tab key working as it should (hit tab ONCE and go to the next entry instead of several times) and getting working with single and quad views and cameras straight and Studio is really cool for much more people.
Since this is the first thing you do with Thea (navigating your scene), this being quirky may color the initial experience of users in the wrong way and is annoying even to long time users.

But again, I only mention all this because I love Thea :-)

Cheers,

Tom
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Bob James
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Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:25 pm

But if I go back to a certain render-camera view to check how my change looks in context and then go back to the top view, I'm back to the default view.
After ten times, I start to gnaw at my table.
+1
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